The Springfield Cardinals Report

Spriingfield Cardinals Catcher Matt Pagnozzi, signs an autograph for a young fan before Tuesday night's game. (Photo/John Brayfield)

When your team gets their rears kicked liked the Springfield Cardinals did by the Wichita Wranglers on Tuesday night at Hammons Field, then you have to find something else to be pleased about. Last night, as the Cards faltered in the field and at the plate, the roar of the 23rd sell-out crowd of the year never diminished--right up to the bottom of the ninth with no sign of a come-from-behind win in sight.

With the Wranglers leading 8-2, and the Cardinals getting only two hits in the entire game, the crowd of over 7500 fans broke out into the wave and kept it up until the final out and final 8-2 whipping by Wichita.

Another pleasant sight occurred before the game as recently acquired Springfield catcher Matt Pagnozzi spent some time signing autographs for young fans. Pagnozzi joined the Cardinals after Dan Moylan was sent up to Memphis. The 22-year-old, 6'2, 205 pound Pagnozzi, the nephew of former St. Louis Cardinal catcher Tom Pagnozzi, was picked up in the eighth round of the 2003 First Year Player Draft. He has experience in New Jersey and Peoria.

And then there was the game. Card's starter Randy Leek, bidding to become the Texas League's first 11-game winner, was tagged for six runs in just over five innings of work. Leek allowed a season-high four home runs on the night.

Leek was taken deep by Mike Aviles in the first, his 11th of the year for a 1-0 lead. John Draper launched his first of the year in the second inning, giving the Wranglers a 2-0 advantage. Wichita capped a three-run third with a two-run blast by Justin Huber, his 12th, making it 5-0. Brennan King opened the sixth inning with a solo shot, his seventh of the year, finally chasing Leek (10-5) and making the score 6-0. Oscar Alvarez came out of the pen and allowed two runs, as the Wranglers took a commanding 8-0 lead in the sixth.

Wichita starter Ryan Baerlocher (3-2) was outstanding throughout the night, not surrendering his first hit until the sixth inning, when Milko Jaramillo's infield grounder to third couldn't be fielded by third baseman Brennan King.

The Cards broke through with a pair of runs in the seventh, finally chasing Baerlocher. Papo Bolivar knocked in Juan Diaz and Tyler Minges with a two-run single, making it 8-2. That was all for the Cardinals though, as Stephen Brey came out of the pen to hold the Cardinals scoreless over 1.2 innings.Ê Colt Griffin worked a scoreless ninth for the Wranglers.

The Cards face the Wranglers in the second of a five-game series tonight (Wednesday) at 7:10 p.m. with Chris Lambert (1-2) to the mound face Wichita's Kyle Middleton. Tickets are available by calling (417)863-2143 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.

The game can be heard live on KWTO JOCK 98.7 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.a


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